Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,511 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,511
Hads: 11,235
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 485
Gots: 2,278 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,511 | Hads: 11,235
Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on top at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a pint glass.

This beer has a mocha-colored, fluffy/smooth head that stays. This beer is black, like King Bowser's heart.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and malt.

Holy God, this beer is incredible! This beer has so many flavors: dark chocolate, strong espresso, malt, black coffee, nuts, and toffee and even a hint of the Holy Lord himself. There is also a strong hop bitterness that really works to balance everything out but doesn't overtake the beer which is truly a blessing.

I could have a couple of these beers but no more since the flavors are so strong that the only thing keeping this beer from being absolutely perfect is the drinkability. Truly a phenomenal beer, especially on tap. (760 characters)

Photo of jrc64
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was convinced that Stone made the best Russian Imperial until I opened a bottle of Old Rasputin this evening!

WOW....off the charts Russian Stout! Amazing aromas of coffee and chocolate. Initial taste is coffee with the chocolate coming through after. I can almost taste the heavy cream in the coffee!!

Mouthfeel is extra smooth and pleasant. 9% alcohol is very well hidden.

Gentlemen, if you're looking to get your lady into the word of fine beer....this is a great way to start. pour her a little in a small wine glass and let her sip it. She'll be hooked!!!

I rate this one in my current top 10 beers! AMAZING!!! So good, I will not buy another bottle of Stone! (671 characters)

Photo of cfrivera1
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful nearly black color with a finger and a half to two fingers of dense dark tan head. Great retention and truly beautiful lacing.

S: Smells of a malty pang. Chocolaty with slight coffee scent and a hint of some dark fruits. Sweet and tangy in the initial whiff with slight roasted and chocolate malts present.

T: WOW - smooth chocolate taste from the roasted malts. A slight coffee aftertaste. I don't get much of the dark fruit that I thought I was smelling. Its blend of chocolate and coffee flavorings which work really well. VERY tasty. I better be careful with this one - at 9% - it's no chump!

M: Medium to full bodied creamy mouthfeel. Lovely syrup sensation that adds to the rich deep flavour. A hint of sweetness complemented with tasty dark chocolaty bitterness. A solid RIS mouthfeel with a perfect balance between sweetness and chocolate/coffee bitterness.

O: Bottom line - at $8.99 for a 12 oz 4-pack, this is a gem in the rough!! Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel are above average. This brew is in a league of its own; everything that is better than what's harder to find year round and more expensive, but damn near comparable in every other department. (1,247 characters)

Photo of GordonofSeattle
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottom line: Old Rasputin tastes like it was aged in a oak barrel made from the planks of an old pirate ship, carried by griffins over the fires of Mordor, and tapped by Sean Connery.

A: Solid head, nice color, nice lacing
S: Not much smell. I'm blaming this on the rather old single bottle I acquired.
T: This stout is top notch. Taste it. You'll like it. If you like stouts.
M: How can a 9% abv Imperial Stout have the smoothness of an oatmeal stout? I don't know, but it is amazing.
Overall: How can a stout with a 9% abv taste this good? Without a doubt the best Imperial Stout I have yet to taste. (606 characters)

Photo of rufusb
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this beer several times, and always enjoyed it. Very complex dark beer. One of the best stouts! Dark, thick appearance, with a high tan head. Smell is not as complex as the taste. Hints of coffee in smell. Taste is smokey, roasted coffee flavor. Alcohol is masked very well. Not apparent until it warms.
Excellent beer! (328 characters)

Photo of JordanC
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved the dark appearance that was strangely obvious as a dark dark brown, but not black

Smell lacked a bit, perhaps because it was too cold at first. As it warmed, the roasty smell of malts and sweet molasses came through

Loved the coffee hints and chocolaty taste. Went incredibly with a slice of coffee-ice cream cake

I thought it was slightly over carbonated, but not distractingly so. A good thickness on the tongue that lingered

This is a highly recommended beer. One of my favorites, especially since it comes in 12 ounce bottles and so many good stouts are 22 ouncers (579 characters)

Photo of throwthechaff
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Totally worth all the hype that this beer gets. This Russian Imperial Stout is a must try. Very dark in color, almost black smells of dark chocolate. Has a slight hop bitterness to as well. Very drinkable even though the 9% abv. A very good beer to sip and appreciate (267 characters)

Photo of BeachBumC
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout since a friend told me of it. I finally found it at Hamilton's in San Diego.

Poured out of a bottle, nice clear black color with a thick 1 inch head.

It has a very roasted smell with hints of chocolate or bourbon.

Tasting it gave an instant zing on the tip of my tongue with a medium to thick body. Flavor was almost too roasted, almost burnt, but complemented well by the chocolate/espresso taste. The flavor was lasting and stayed well on the back of the tongue to the point that I had to have another sip.

Good thing I take quick notes because this beer didn't stay in the glass very long. I'll be having many more of these! (696 characters)

Photo of pdxwhisky
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass - and a wonderful one inch head developed. Perfect inky coloring. Head dissipates into a nice laced skin. Excellent roasted malt nose. Taste starts with a smokey note, growing into a nice roasted malt finish. Mid notes of hops quickly fade, but add excellent balance. Heavily carbonated. Very rich. Alcohol levels very well masked by flavors.

A bit too carbonated, kills the smoothness I desire, but a very, very good RIS. (447 characters)

Photo of Jtschupp04
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a trappist glass

looks like: root beer float.

smells like: cherry chocolate coffee.

tastes like: nutty cocoa.

feels like: cold foamy cappuccino

drinks like: french pressed coffee

i love stouts and this one enforced the love and lust for more delectables that you can't see through. (299 characters)

Photo of Psyopticon
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Was in bottle, but could tell this was a pretty dark beer.

Smell - Some dark roasted malts. Caramel and Molasses.

Taste - BAM! Damn good taste. Can taste some hints of Molasses, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Pretty syrupy... But doesn't make it bad. Light carbonation. Full bodied.

Drinkability - This is a damn good beer. And is probably one of my new favorite stouts. But the high ABV makes this a one drink only thing. I'm pretty buzzed while writing this. :D

Enjoy!!!! (505 characters)

Photo of mdquigley
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find. (665 characters)

Photo of trecker
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Dark coffee color with 1/4 inch head that fades to a collar around the edge.

S: Solid coffee smell to it. That's about all I can pick out.

T: Very good. Espresso taste. Surprisingly not astringent for the ABV.

M: Medium to full. Good amount of carbonation.

D: I agree with the other user who said this beer had scary good drinkability. This drinks very well for a 9%.

Overall, this is a perfect beer for those little reward yourself moments (weekends, good days at work, bad days at work, etc). (527 characters)

Photo of DJScroggins
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black, opaque, thin tan head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

Smells of malts and powdered chocolate

Tastes of toasted malts, light chocolate. Hops more prominent here than on the nose. Finish tastes of burnt coffee beans and bourbon.

Lighter bodied that one might expect. Some alcohol burn.

Overall an excellent Imperial Stout. It's a classic for a reason. (362 characters)

Photo of williamsgodfrey
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Old Rasputin came out of the bottle a dark brown, nearly black, color. There was a half a finger’s worth of head, roughly the color of overly creamed coffee. The head stayed around briefly but fizzled off shortly, becoming a thin ring at the edges of the glass with an island or two of small bubbles floating around on the top of the beer. I think (I know) that I had the beer too cold when I poured it and I think that is why the head was so small. Russian Imperials should best be poured and consumed in the 50-55° F range. When I’ve enjoyed Old Rasputin in the past, at a more reasonable temperature, I remember a much more robust head that stuck around more. As I began to drink I noticed that the beer actually appeared almost red at the edges. When beer spread out on the way out of the glass with each sip I noticed a deep red or crimson to it, quite nice.

Aroma:
I got a big, dark, roasty, bready aroma out of my glass. Perhaps a bit of hop spiciness on the back-end. As it warmed up a bit I began to notice a lot of tobacco flavors, really near to that earthy sweetness of freshly dried and cut tobacco leaves.

Taste:
This beer truly tastes wonderful. I get a lot of hop up front, not quite as sharp as a big IPA, followed by dark, roasted malt, a little boozy heat, something akin to sugar just as it starts to caramelize/burn, and finally a finish of alcohol soak chocolate covered raisins.

Mouthfeel:
The mouthfeel felt pretty spot on for a Russian Imperial, it was smooth with a faint carbonation tickle with a slight amount of body.

Overall:
It’s a classic and it's awesome. One of the best Russian Imperials out there, and maybe one of the first to receive widespread acclaim and distribution in the North American beer market. (1,765 characters)

Photo of dogboy
2.71/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thought I'd try this highly rated brew and was dissapointed. Pours good and looks ok in the glass. Smell was too much coffee on the nose and the first sip confirmed the smell. Overpowering burnt coffee taste for me. Also the beer was too thick and as I find with American stouts, too fizzy. It's ok enough and I'd like to try it on tap (or aged), but why the A? (361 characters)

Photo of biercircus
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty stinking good RIP. The high alcohol balances well with the complex dark chocolate and coffee flavor. My wife made me let her sip while eating dark chocolate. I tried some too, and it really complemented it well.

A- I saw it poured into a cup, but it was dark outside, and I just had a bottle.

S- sweet, chocolaty coffee smell, molasses, liquorice, hops

T- complex malty chocolate coffee, alcohol peeking through

M- heavy, creamy, bubbly. Takes a while to drink because it's so heavy. Some carbonation.

D- Very good sipper. Shouldn't drink fast. Very well-balanced flavors. Awesome beer. (610 characters)

Photo of aayooper
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle - poured with a nice thick, brown head which disipated over 10 minutes as it warmed from its over refridgerated temperature. This RIS had a big, full mouth feel and flavor. Specifically, what really stood out to me as I sipped it after a big steak was a really nice burnt malt flavor followed by a smooth dark chocolate linger. Unlike some in this class, there was really no strong sense of alcohol for its high ABV. While drinking several in an evening may not be in order, one or two will really work well after a steak or on a cold winter evening. (557 characters)

Photo of headhopper
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours out very dark with tinge of tea color brown/amber around the corners when held up to the light. It has a creamy frothy tan head that sticks around for a while.

It smells very good...Not as strong as some stouts, but very pleasant. Not as rough as most RIS. It has a nice crusty bread smell with roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

Now when I take the first sip...every time it makes me go " Ahh thats a good beer." It kind of reminds me of Breakfast stout. Only because of the very obvious and sharp coffee smell and coffee bitterness in the taste. It also reminds me of the taste of Founders Black Rye. It has a balanced blend of coffee, chocolate, bread, roasted nuts...its very good.

For the price and availability this is a great stout. (765 characters)

Photo of kevinhulit
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black liquid with creamy tan head. rich aroma character (cofee/malt). a bit of a ting on the palate but tasty... rich finish. this beer opened my palate to stouts beyond the sam adams/guiness portion of the varitey. there is so much more to stout! a must try. (259 characters)

Photo of nwshull
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It is a deep blackish-brown with a head darker than most beers body. The head settled thick about 1/2 inch high.

Smell: It smells like a strong dark chocolate

Taste: It has an initial taste of bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee followed by aftertaste of half way between hops and the previous described flavors. High Alcohol is well masked

Mouthfeel: It is a thick mouthfeel to start with carbonation moderate, it ends rather velvety.

Drinkability: It is a pleasure to drink but I generally only want to drink one a night.

Overall this is my favorite Imperial Stout. (624 characters)

Photo of lukymann
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Quite a pleasure to have this brew on nitro-tap... grabbed it at Deep Ellum in Allston.

A - After the beer settles out it is dark and largely opaque with a great creamy khaki colored, inch-thick head. Looked like a great dessert beer if ever I've seen one.

S - Earthy smell with overtones of chocolate. Roasted malts are unsurprisingly prevalent.

T - Excellent. Strong Espresso and chocolate flavors at the front that settle into a burnt malt residue on your tongue. A good representation of the style.

F - Two words: Creamy goodness. The smoothness of this beer on nitro is hard to describe (and it is well matched to the beer's flavor). As good as this beer is from the bottle, this presentation went well beyond surpassing my expectations.

D - The 9% ABV is not all that apparent as you're drinking. As tempting as it was to have more than one, this is not really a session beer and I moved on to something slightly less robust. (936 characters)

Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the classic American Stouts available.

Aroma: Figs, prunes, dark malt, coffee, roasted grains

Appearance: Black with tan head that laced nicely.

Flavor: Big dark malt flavor with hints of fig, prune, cherry, and roast.

Mouthfeel: The big malt gives a rich mouthfeel that finishes sweet.

Overall: A great beer to have on a cold winter night. Fantastic. (364 characters)

Photo of GeoffM
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pretty standard stout coloring and head; beautiful opaque, inky black, impossible to see through, head is tan and rocky, moderately sized. Head diminishes a little faster than I'd like or would have expected, but the lacing is good.

Smell - Malty. Very very malty. Chocolate, coffee, something remotely chalky (for lack of a better word) but not unpleasantly so.

Taste - Wow. Seductively smooth. Moderately bitter with an excellent, and I mean excellent, finish. This is such a pleasant beer, wonderful mouthfeel. I sip it because I want to savor it, not because it's too bitter; in other words, quite drinkable. Malts are apparent, to say the least. Just awesome.

Overall - The only other Imperial Stout I've had was Yeti's Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company (another favorite around here, apparently), and this one is so much more approachable and drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well, and it sneaks up on you, so be careful. Awesoime brew. (974 characters)

Photo of jfdean
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts. (900 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,511 ratings.